I’ve seen quite a few memes (what the hell does meme even mean?) lately about how you worry less about your kids after each kid. In fact, there are so damn many of them they have them for certain season and activities like winter and using Facebook. Typically, the joke involves listing something you do with the first kid, but not with the second or third and so on that implies worrying less by the kid, and you know, the joke wasn’t funny the first time. It’s actually kind of ridiculous. Are there parents out there that really care less by the kid? Like this one, look at this, things like vaccinations, clean drinking water, and healthy foods? Those are things someone out there thinks aren’t necessary for a 3rd child? What by kid 5 would you just toss kibble out for them and make sure the rain fills a dish in the yard?
I have four kids, and while I’d agree that you learn more by the kid, you certainly do not worry less. Example, kid one breaks out in a head-to-toe rash that hurts just to look at, chances are you hit the doc, but by kid two you probably have seen enough rashes to know what it is and how to deal with it. You learned from kid one to kid two. I don’t, however, know a single parent that, say, would not use a car seat with kid three because it was old hat or let their kid sleep in a drawer with their old socks (people have those?) as this comedic gem implies.
So, what’s so bad about that? It’s a joke right? Comedic extremes? Where’s my sense of humor? Maybe it’s the middle-child talking, but this concept really bothers me, because if there are so many of these memes, and they are being liked and shared and going viral or whatever the fuck, that means people out there actually agree with this crap. They actually feel that it’s OK to care less and do less for a subsequent child and that scares the shit out of me. Why are these people breeding just to not give a shit? I treat my first child the same as I do my fourth. You know what really changed in my worry realm between them? That I didn’t have enough time to give each of them the love, attention and yes, even worry, they deserved, because to me, worry less is awfully close to care less, and that’s awful. I’m probably one of the biggest advocates on the planet of the ideal that there is no right or wrong way to parent—whether it’s how I’d do it or not. But if you’re not giving all you’ve got to give to every kid you’ve got, you’re doing it wrong, and that aint funny. So, why are you laughing?